Visiting The Smallest Country In The World | Vatican City

LOCATION: VATICAN CITY

Vatican City is the small country located within Rome. Being only 0.44 kilometres squared the country is the smallest in the world. Being so small the country does not have its own airport meaning you will have to travel into the country from Rome. Although small once you are in the country you will not find it small with all the breath-taking buildings and sights to see.

The little country within Rome is known for its many religious sights and home to the Pope! 
(If you are not a religious person do not worry you will be sure to love seeing the sights anyway)
Sights to see . . . 

Everywhere you look within Vatican City there is a new and more amazing building or monument. Although all of the sights are different and unique it can get quite confusing working out which building is which. This is due to the similar colour of the buildings due to the building materials used. If you are like us and seem to get confused about which building is which due to the magnitude of buildings within the city, here is a guide to help you: 

Vatican Museum - The vatican museum is full of the prettiest art paintings and historical ceramic statues and vases. This is the museum which you should visit if you would like to learn more about Vatican City and its history. Through the art work pieces you will be able to learn about important periods of history and the emotions behind the work.

The museum is open to everyone with a valid ticket. These can be purchased online or on the day in the museum. However bare-in-mind that the museum does get very busy and can take a while to enter if you need to que for a ticket. Make sure you also check the website before visiting as opening days and times can change and certain days (the last Sunday of the month) are free entry for everyone. 

Sistine Chapel - This little chapel is one of the most well known and well visited within the world. Constructed in 1483 the historic chapel is painted beautifully by Michelangelo. The chapel is located within the Apostolic Palace which is the official home of the Pope. This is accessible through the Vatican Museum and St Peter's Basilica. If you are entering through the museum you will however have to pay to enter the museum first. It is free to enter St Peter's Basilica and then go inside Sistine Chapel. 

St Peter's Basilica - This is the spectacular domed building located in St Peter's Square. This is an Italian church which is situated within the middle of Vatican City. With free entry the church is a very popular attraction. You are able to go inside the church and then inside Sistine chapel. However due to the church being free to enter it can be busy. During our visit the que was approximately 3 hours long - therefore we did not have the time to go inside, so make sure you get there early. 

Piazza San Pietro (St Peter's Square) - This is the large square outside of St Peter's Basilica. The square is large to hold lots of people when the pope has an appearance and large to offer amazing views of the Basilica - Perfect if you want a breath-taking photo. 
Tip: This stunning staircase can be photographed inside the Vatican Museum. 
Important information . . . 


  • Clothing - due to the country being religious you cannot enter certain buildings with your shoulders/chest and legs/knees out. Make sure you wear suitable clothing which comes below the knees and covers your shoulders/chest. Alternately you can wear a pashmina/scarf across your shoulders/chest when inside. 

  • Pre-booking - if there are certain buildings which you would like to go inside in Vatican City then it would be advised to pre-book. The buildings are very popular and can take quite a while to get into if you need to buy a ticket on the day. Pre-booking will save time and money. 

We would love to know what you thought of Vatican City? Have you visited? 

Love Chloe and Megan 

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How To Get From Nice To Monaco

LOCATION: MONACO

With Monaco being the second smallest country in the world getting into Monaco can be harder than other countries. There is no airport inside the country therefore the only way to get to Monaco without your own private transport is by using an alternative public transport. If you are travelling from Nice to Monaco then using public transport can be simple. Travelling from Nice to Monaco also enables you to see the pretty French Riviera and the stunning landscape.

Our Nice to Monaco guide should help you find the perfect transport to travel into the country. Transport which is easy to use; affordable and allows you to experience the stunning landscapes and views that France and Monaco have to offer.

Where to get the train from . . .

When travelling from Nice you are able to get the train from multiple stations. This makes the journey simple regardless of where you are travelling from in Nice. With only a few stations in the city you are able to jump on a train at any station to make your way to Monaco. Whether you are staying within Nice and need to get the train from near your hotel or whether you have flown into Nice to head straight to Monaco.

From Nice airport: If you have flown into Nice only because it is the closest airport to get to Monaco then you will want to head to the closest train station to the airport. Unfortunately Nice airport does not have a train station at the airport, therefore you will have to make your way to the closest train station. This is the Nice St Augustin station. Approximately half a mile away you can either walk to the station in about 15 minutes or grab a taxi which takes approximately 10 minutes depending on traffic.

Nice-Ville station: This is the main train station within Nice. Located within the centre of the city it is the easiest station to get to regardless of where you are staying in the city. The station also has frequent trains to go to Monaco throughout the day to suite your travel needs.  
On the train . . .

The train from Nice to Monaco is exactly like getting on a train anywhere else. You purchase your ticket as normal, although the ticket is slightly larger than you would expect. And with your ticket you hop onto the selected train to Monaco. You are able to sit wherever you wish on the train unless you have purchased a first class ticket - you can then sit in the first class area.

Along the way you will stop at a wide variety of stations, however you will know when you have arrived at Monte Carlo station. The station is inside, although with so many lights it is very bright.

Tip: Sit next to the window to see the gorgeous views of France and Monaco.
Once you have arrived in Monte Carlo you will be amazed at how pretty Monte Carlo train station is. Located within the hills as you come up and out of the station you will be welcomed by the most stunning views across Monaco, across the harbour and out to sea.
We would love to know how you got from Nice to Monaco? Did you go on the train?

Love Chloe and Megan

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The Monaco City Guide

LOCATION: MONACO

Monaco is the small country located in southern France upon the coast. Known for its grand prix, famous casino and expensive harbour full of luxurious boats the little country has lots to offer. Although the country is the second smallest in the world being only 2km square it is home to the most millionaires and billionaires within one country and with a population of over 36,000 it is also the most densely populated country within the world. The colourful buildings, bright blue sea and quant hilly streets however will have you falling in love with the country.

Being such a small country and a playground for millionaires and billionaires the country can however be rather expensive to spend the night in. Luckily we was able to visit the country for the day while visiting Nice, France. Being only 14 miles away you are able to drive or get the train from Nice to Monte Carlo in 30-45 minutes.
Getting to Monaco . . .

Flying: Monaco unfortunately does not have its own airport to fly into. This means you will have to fly into the closest airport to Monaco which is Nice. However only being 14 miles away this is not unlike flying to any country and making your way to your hotel. The only downside of flying into Nice to get to Monaco is if you plan on using public transport. Although the train is super easy to use there is not a station located at the airport so you will have to leave the airport and walk to the closest station - St Augustin, Nice. This is approximately half a mile and a 15 minute walk. Perfect if you need to stretch your legs after a long flight, however not so perfect if you just want to get to your hotel.

Driving: Monaco has multiple roads where you can enter the country. Whether you are traveling from Nice, in land France or even Italy. Driving into the country is simple as long as you know the way and don't mind driving up and down a few hills. However bare in mind that some roads require you to pay tolls.

Train: This may be one of the easiest ways to get into the country. You don't need to worry about finding your own way into the country, just make sure that you jump on the right train. With trains from Nice and Italy you are able to get a train from either side of the country effortlessly. We got a train from Nice to Monte Carlo which was super easy and cheap. With tickets from just 3.60 euros each way and an average journey time of 25 minutes. Along the way you are able to see the sea and the towering hills as you make your way into a new country.
Getting around in Monaco . . .

Although the country is only 2km square you still have a wide variety of options to get around the country to see everything. Known as the millionaires playground the country is home to breath-taking buildings; beautiful views and lots of fun things to see and do. With lots going on and lots to explore you need the best way for you to get around and see everything you want to see.

Tour buses: This is a great idea if you would like to see all of the sights using just the one type of transport. The bus enables you to see multiple sights and hop on and off as you wish during the route. With 12 stops you are able to see all the best sights that the country has to offer. This could be with a one day ticket or a two day ticket depending on how long you are visiting for. Being an open top bus you can also admire the views from up higher or inside on a colder day. The bus allows you to see everything you want to see without tiring your legs.

Walking: Of course this is probably the most tiring option to get around the country, however it may be the best option if you want to see the country. We find that when we explore somewhere on foot we are able to see more of the place and experience what it is like for the locals. Whether this means walking up a steep hill to visit the palace but being able to experience the breath-taking views on the way or walking the length of the harbour to see all the extraordinary boats. In Monaco walking to your destination can be hard work due to the hills and the heat if it is a nice day but the views and sights you are able to see on foot are definitely worth the walk.

Cycling: If you want to use your own type of transport and don't fancy walking then hiring a bike to explore the country can be perfect. Cycling enables you the freedom to explore where you wish at your own pace and see sights along the way. However being Monaco bare in mind that it is very hilly and can be harder work than you think.

Taxi: This can be a rather expensive option and will leave you sitting in traffic longer than you are moving. With the country not being too big public transport can work out much faster and cheaper than a private taxi.
What to see . . .

Although the country is only small there are lots of sights to see and places to visit. With the grand prix being a big attraction for the country even quiet streets are worth seeing. The colourful buildings and delicate winding streets overlooking the crystal blue sea and ginormous boats make the country very pretty.  

Grand Prix Monaco: The Grand Prix is a formula one motor race which takes place through the streets of Monaco. Due to the small winding streets the course is known as a narrow but glamorous and prestige course. Being home to the grand prix the country does also attract expensive and impressive cars all year round even when the grand prix isn't on.  

Prince's Palace of Monaco: The Palace of Monaco is located at the top of one of Monaco's many hills overlooking the harbour and out to sea. Home to Grimaldi family the palace is highly guarded and can only be entered with a tour ticket. The ticket allows you to enter certain rooms within the palace to admire the history and architecture. However if you do not have a ticket or do not wish to go inside the Palace is still worth the visit due to its pretty location and stunning buildings. This is a rather busy attraction which is popular to go and visit when in Monaco.

Monte Carlo Casino: Known as the millionaires playground Monaco is home to a few casinos, one of these being the Monte Carlo Casino. Located at casino square the casino is one of the prettiest buildings and must see sights when in the country. Open 2pm-4am the casino is only accessible with i.d and the correct attire.

Les Pavillons Monte Carlo: This is the white domed shopping walk photographed below. Home to some of the best designer shops you can find the shopping walk is for those who do not have a budget.
We was able to find some of the prettiest buildings upon the hill which is home to the palace.
Important information . . .

When visiting a new country it is always helpful to know a little bit about the place you are visiting. Even if you only find out the basic information you need to know you will be well on your way to having the best time in Monaco. Although Monaco is its own country there is not too much that you need to know when entering from France. These basic tips and information will help you get started:

  • Passport - Although Monaco is a different country you do not need a passport to get in. However it would be a great idea to take yours along with you for i.d to get into any casinos.

  • Accommodation - If you only plan on spending the one day in Monaco it would be cheaper to find accommodation in Nice which is only a half hour journey.

  • Language - Due to Monaco bordering France the majority of the Monaco population speak French alongside very good English.

  • Currency - The currency used within the country is euros, which is perfect if travelling in from France. However you will notice that items are more expensive due to Monaco being an expensive country.
We would love to know what you thought of Monaco? Do you have any recommendations?

Love Chloe and Megan

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Exploring Castle Hill Nice, France

LOCATION: NICE, FRANCE

On our recent trip to Nice we were surprised to find more hustle and bustle than we expected. Although Nice is the fifth most populated city within France it's southern coastal location left us expecting the city to be tranquil and peaceful. However we found the city to be busy with people and lots going on to see and do. With a city and beach full of people you need somewhere to escape to for some peace and relaxation. 

Castle Hill is the hill located just on the edge of the city. Positioned on the coast the hill is home to views across the city; out to sea and above the harbour. Being on top of the hill high above the city and the hustle and bustle you are able to feel a sense of peace and tranquility. Due to the height of the hill you are unable to hear the noise of cars or people below. With not much noise and lots of areas to relax and unwind the hill is the perfect place to escape the city. 
How to get to Castle Hill . . . 

Due to the location of the hill being along the coast it is easy to access by foot or by public transport. The type of transport you use to get to the hill depends on where you are travelling from. Although the bay doesn't look too big to walk around with its calm blue waters it can be as far as three miles if you are walking from as far as the airport. 

  • Walking - If you are walking along the promenade to Castle Hill it can be a very relaxing and pretty walk. However on a hot day the walk can be very tiring and with not much shade along the way. And even though the hill is rather large it can seem so far away. But when you reach the hill you will soon realise that the walk was all worth it. 

  • Tram - The closest tram station to Castle Hill is the Garibaldi station. This is just under half a mile from Castle Hill and only takes approximately ten minutes to walk to. The station is a middle stop on the line, so you will have to make sure that you get off at the right stop. Although Nice does not have a confusing tram system it can still be rather confusing if you are not used to using the tram. 

Once you are at the bottom of Castle Hill you have the decision of how you will get to the top. You have the choice of either walking to the top which entails a lot of steps or taking the elevator which can get you to the top for minimal effort and in no time at all. Although both are completely different it is still a hard decision and depends on why you are visiting the hill and how much time you have to get to the summit. 

  • Walking - Walking to the top of the hill can be rewarding with the breathtaking views as you get higher but it can also be tiring with the 426 steps that you will have to climb. Although on the way you will find seating benches and viewing bays where you can take your photos. The walk can take longer than the elevator but will be worth it for the breathtaking views along the way.

  • Elevator - The elevator is located at the bottom of the hill on the side, just off of the road from the beach. Pictured below the elevator is called Ascenseur Du Chateau. From first impressions you would not think that this is the elevator until you are inside. Inside you will find a long tunnel, which at the end the elevator is located. The due for the elevator can get large as it is free to use, however it does move fast as the elevator does not take long and fits up to 8 people inside. In just 50 seconds you will be at the top of  Castle Hill. 

At the top . . . 

Once at the top whether you walked or took the elevator you will be welcomed by breathtaking views across Nice beach and out to sea. The top of the hill is peaceful and quiet due to it being away from the everyday noise and hustle and bustle below. The top of the hill has a variety of sights to see and things to do. Whether you have ventured to the top for a relaxing afternoon or to experience the views across the city you will be sure to find what you are looking for. At the top you will find stunning views; a breathtaking waterfall; a cafe to grab lunch and parks and green areas to relax. 
Tip:: If you don't fancy walking or getting the lift to the top of the hill then you can always get the road train. 
We would love to know if you have ever visited Castle Hill? Do you have any recommendations for getting to the top?

Love Chloe and Megan


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